So BoyPenguin’s mom left last week for her housesitting gig, and I’ve had some time, distance, and talks with BP since then about the situation and how we’ll handle guests from now on.
1. I told him that what I need is to be asked. If someone’s staying, if we’re going somewhere, whatever, I need to be asked what dates/length of time works for me. I used us visiting my dad this past summer as an example. I asked him what days worked. My dad originally wanted us out for 10 days, but we were only there for 7. BP said he could have stayed longer at my dad’s, which probably true (they got along super well), but I told him I couldn’t have stayed longer. 10 days didn’t work for me. Length of time for a visitor, or length of time being a visitor, is something that I need to have input on.
2. I noticed that she didn’t leave the house unless BP, my mom or I were with her. She would go to the grocery store by herself, but nothing else. She sat at our dining room table from 7 a.m. until we’d go to bed at 10:30 p.m. or so. She did not step outside the house for three days straight. I found this bothersome. I recognize to a certain degree that it’s because that’s not how I travel or even interact in my daily life. I expressed to BP that this distressed me, having someone always at our dining room table, not moving. It bugs him too, but said that’s how she is and he’s kind of used to it. When she’d visit him before we lived together, she sat on his couch all day while he was at work., and even how she was when he was a kid. He’d leave for school in the morning and she’d be playing Tetris or something. He’d come home and she’d be still sitting at the computer. It’d go on for a few months.
I also pointed out to him that, when she arrived, she talked about how she wanted to be social, how she was going to go to coffee shops and talk with people (she does this in her hometown—goes to the local coffee shop to chat with folks). BP said “Well, she doesn’t know anyone here, so...” So...she can’t go and meet new people? Or just sit at a coffee shop with her laptop for a while? But this, and a couple of other examples and statements she’s made have made me think that she has some kind of anxiety disorder about doing things by herself in situations where she doesn’t know someone. So I tried come to a zen place about having her always in my home. It comes down to a clash of lifestyles. I don’t know if it’s fair to expect guests to leave the house at least once a day because it drives me nuts to have someone sitting at home all day long. And by guests, it really would just be his mom since no one else that visits us is like this.
3. She did not help clean much. One night, BP cooked dinner and she said she helped because she’d washed the 6 dishes in the sink earlier that day. She didn’t empty the dishwasher, but told us that she’d thought about it. She just didn’t know where things went. Which. I eyerolled hard because the plates go where the other plates are, the silverware in the drawer with the organizer, etc. Put the obvious stuff where it goes, leave the rest. It would have been a minor contribution. She also did wash the linens and re-made her bed, which she didn’t do last time, so that was nice.
4. When her housesit is over, BP is going to tell her she can stay for 2 or 3 days before she returns to her home state. And next time she comes to visit, he’s going to do a better job of communicating with her regarding what works for us and what does not.
I happened to be accepted to a holiday show while she was here, so I kept myself busy by making things. It was how I coped.